National Rhubarb Pie Day & Sweet And Savory Rhubarb Recipes - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures National Rhubarb Pie Day & Sweet And Savory Rhubarb Recipes
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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day

June 10th is National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day, a vegetable harvested in April and May in the northern hemisphere (the southern hemisphere harvest is in October and November, apple and pumpkin pie season for those on the other side of the Equator).

Yes, rhubarb is a vegetable, not a fruit. The giveaway might be that it looks like red celery stalks with cabbage-like leafy tops—although the two vegetables are actually not related. Some varieties of rhubarb have dark green stalks.

By the time it gets to market, the leaves of the rhubarb are usually cut off, and we only see the red stalks.

The leaves are removed because rhubarb leaves contain toxic substances that can poison humans—and cats, dogs, horses, and rabbits. Don’t try to repurpose them; the only place for them is the compost heap.

Native to Asia, rhubarb has long been used in Chinese medicine. As anyone who has cooked rhubarb knows, it needs copious amounts of sugar to offset its natural bitterness. Thus, it can be served as a vegetable, but its use as a sweet food didn’t come into play until sugar became widely available in the 17th century.

But since then, what a lovely choice for food enthusiasts. Stewed rhubarb is a delight, as is a rhubarb or strawberry-rhubarb pie or crumble, rhubarb ice cream, jams, and marmalades. In generations past, rhubarb ketchup was a popular condiment.

As a savory, rhubarb can be made into salsa, sauces for chicken and pork, and join beets in a green salad. Check out these recipes.

The reason you don’t see more stewed rhubarb or pie is that it’s relatively laborious to work with the vegetable. It’s fibrous, so after you cook it, you need to process it through a food mill.

We learned the joys of cooking rhubarb from our Nana, who made copious amounts of rhubarb throughout rhubarb season; and we assure you, it’s worth it.

> Rhubarb Trivia

How can you tell the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?

Fruits carry their seeds on the inside—think apples, bananas, melons, pears, and plums. The only exception is the strawberry, which carries its seeds on the outside.

By the same token, the following “vegetables” are botanically fruits; we just think of them as vegetables because they are not sweet: avocados, eggplants, olives, squash, tomatoes, and zucchini.

Avocados and olives are tree fruits, just like apples and oranges.

> January 23rd is National Rhubarb Pie Day.

> The history of rhubarb.

  • Green Salad With Roasted Rhubarb
  • Rhubarb Galette
  • Rhubarb Ice Cream
  • Rhubarb Ketchup
  • Strawberry-Rhubarb Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
  •   rhub-230.jpg
    [1] Rhubarb—it’s pretty, and after you add lots of sugar, it’s tasty and sweet (photo © Our Ohio).

    A Slice Of Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
    [2] Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Here’s a recipe (photo © The Baker Chick).

    Rhubarb Tart
    [3] Isn’t this rhubarb tart gorgeous? It’s vegan and gluten-free Here’s the recipe (photo © InstagoodFood).



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